Express Yourself to Disney World

It sounds almost too good to be true. Check your bags at the airport and never see them again until they arrive, as if by magic, in your hotel room at Walt Disney World Resort. Well, that’s the promise of Disney’s new Magical Express program and a recent trip to Mickey’s realm gave me the perfect opportunity to try it out.

Here’s how it works. After making your reservations at a Disney Resort, just provide Disney (or your travel agent) with your flight numbers and arrival and departure times. In a few weeks, you receive a cute little ticket brochure with an amusingly retro look. It contains peel off luggage tags bearing the name of your resort and a bar code to assure easy routing.

With your bags tagged, your off to Orlando where cheery greeters waving stuffed Mickey hands meet all arriving passengers as they enter the main terminal. Blissfully bypassing luggage claim, you check in at the Disney Magical Express counter, which has now joined all the rental car companies on the bottom level of the terminal. Present your ticket brochure and moments later you are directed to a rats maze of queues that will guide you to the correct bus for your trip to Disney.

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PassPorter’s ‘Special Needs’ Guide to Walt Disney World

PassPorter Special Needs book

Time was when, if you were lucky enough to find a travel guide that addressed the needs of the “disabled,” it was all about wheelchair access. Boy, how times have changed.

The new PassPorter’s Walt Disney World for your Special Needs covers seemingly every possible situation, from ADHD to Vision, with 18 others in between, including some that aren’t really disabilities at all (religion and senior citizenship, for instance), but which can raise very genuine concerns for some vacationers.

Written by Deb Wills and Debra Martin Koma, this massive compendium represents an enormous amount of research (they cite nearly three dozen “peer reviewers”) and all the hard work has clearly paid off. Their book is the de facto encyclopedia on special needs at Disney World and it is unlikely that their achievement will ever be duplicated, let alone surpassed. As with any PassPorter publication the exhaustive attention to detail leaves no cleverly themed stone unturned and no question unanswered.
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